Idiosyncrasy

When birds sing and flowers bloom

Today's OutfitAs one of those rare people who doesn’t know how to deal with water, I can confidently say that I never felt comfortable in bikinis.
Today's OutfitAlright, maybe that isn’t the only reason… I’m secretly an extreme conservative when it comes to fashion (I know- what am I talking about?) in terms of how much skin shows when I put on a particular piece. Yeah… isn’t that funny coming from a person who allegedly works in fashion?Today's OutfitIt’s been bothering me, honestly, this thing I always had against “sexy” clothes… There were so many times when I wanted to walk out wearing a simple slip with nothing underneath, when I wanted to rock that scandalous hoochie mama dress for no particular reason, when I felt the urge to let myself go… free.

Today's OutfitI’ve learned over years of experimenting that the only way to get out of a rut is to face it head-on, because true freedom is only allowed to those who seek it.

Today's Outfitand this time around, I decided to give my body freedom, freedom to see the sun and… humans, finally.

Today's OutfitIt took some time, though, for it to be ready.

Today's Outfitand we are talking about seemingly endless physical training (including but not limited to spinning, yoga, pilates, weight training, running, you name it), a dramatic change of eating habits, and some dealings with mental issues, even.

Today's OutfitI honestly never felt confident enough to wear something so tiny. Even after losing a significant amount of body fat and gaining muscles and what not, I still have insecurities and am not sure if I will ever feel completely confident about my body, but I’ve learned that it’s actually not the body itself that matters, but who I am as a person. If I love myself, then that’s enough to feel confident to do things for myself, things that make me happy no matter how trivial or substantial it may be, because unless I know how to truly love myself, there is no way I will ever be able to genuinely love someone else. Today's OutfitIt hasn’t been an easy one, but this journey has been certainly rewarding and enlightening, if not something I absolutely needed at the moment. Today's OutfitI’ve realized that no matter what, I come first… because without me, there is no more of anything.

Today's OutfitI’ve decided to give myself a bit more credit, a bit more love, and a bit more pat on the back… and these shots in the most revealing pieces you’ve seen me yet are just a beginning of what’s to come, a step towards a place of freedom where I can finally be myself, and where dreams come true. It’s a reminder to myself to be thankful to be who I am, that it’s okay to be comfortable in my own skin. On that note, should you ever feel like you aren’t good enough, count your blessings… and start focusing on yourself. And while there, press the ‘reset’ button.

Today's Outfit

Bandeau Neoprene “Winnie” Bikini in Polly Python courtesy of Triangl Swimwear

Photography by Justin S.

 

 

 

 

 

Breathe you in

Today's OutfitTotally, completely spontaneous is what these shots are.Today's OutfitWe were on the way to Las Vegas when a sudden urge to stop, jump out of the car and shoot emerged. I blame it on the sunset and the cacti. Today's OutfitExcept for the ants… call it an oxymoron or irony but they were some giant, scary looking ants. I had never seen such huge ones in my life… and they were fast- yeah, definitely not your ordinary ants. Watch out if you ever decide to stop and explore the nature here in Nevada…Today's OutfitJumpsuits… are probably one of the most comfortable “trendy” things that I actually don’t mind rocking, except when I have to use the ladies’ room, hence buttons or a zipper in the back, like the fly on mens’ trouser never sounded so intriguing.Today's OutfitOn another note, weight lifting has become a daily routine. After years of exploring, I think I’ve finally found what works best for me. Nothing beats that feeling you get when your legs shake and your booty wants to kill you… If you know what I mean, you are on the right track, my trainer says.Today's OutfitWhile I’m a regular in Vegas (due to work), I learned something new this time around- that I’m officially allergic to it, especially the air, or the lack of it inside these extravagant hotels, which is done on purpose in order to make you lightheaded so you are not able to think clearly because if you do, you would not be sitting at that poker table or in front of that gambling machine for hours mindlessly letting it eat your hard-earned money. Wake up, people (says the person who lost $5 doing the exact thing, oops).

Today's OutfitJumpsuit by Love Tree Happens

Long Strides into Darkness

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I lost these shoes darnit, I lost these shoes. Back in LA, I used to catalogue for Revolve Clothing. I applied my model code: “revolve—–sejin” and purchased these shoes. I was a Revolve Man.

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One way to be successful in NY is to walk with long strides.

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I am my hero in 10 years.

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Verizon should endorse me for my eyebrows. CHECK.

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That lady is blocking a line of people wanting to chase me down.

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One female breaks from the crowd. “Let me take a picture of him damit!”

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I’m approaching opportunity; man hesitates to lend a hand, but God extends His hand to us. I’m still agency-less so I probably won’t be going to any castings, but NYFW, I’d like to walk!

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Darkness is cast on those unwilling to discern and unwilling to be disciplined; But His disciples walk into darkness in faith and holy trembling.

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Puddles and Picnic tables stop my long strides and I become a display of embossed anointing.

Enjoyed another visit to MUJI on 19th st; special thanks to Maria & the crew there. Also thank you, Miki @ ryuxmiki.com for shooting me during your short stay in NY!

Thank you for following and supporting the Sage! 

 

Welcome to the hood

0809-3I’ve always loved parks of all sorts; it’s become a little habit of mine to take a walk at a nearby park to unwind, recharge, and to get my creative part of the brain to start working again. 0809-0So when I unexpectedly came across this park located between Korea Town and Downtown, I couldn’t help it but decide to make a stop, until the idea came to a halt when I was told that it’s a pretty dangerous place full of drug dealers and homeless people.0809-4Despite the initial few moments of hesitation, I decided to give it a try, because after all, it was barely five o’clock and the sun was still hard at work.0809-00I parked the car at a meter… but being the scared little girl I am when it comes to driving in LA (remember this incident?), I walked out of the car to check the sign to make sure I was allowed to park in the spot. Weird though, I suddenly felt like I became illiterate because even after reading what the sign said multiple times, I still didn’t have a clear idea of what it was saying. I think it’s safe to call it a side effect of getting a traffic ticket, or simply a trauma of having been the “chosen one” (thanks, LAPD). 0809-1Naturally, I approached this man that was “attempting” to walk his Pit bull,

“Excuse me, is it okay to park here?”

to which he kindly responded, “Yes, it’s free after six.” 0809-01Honestly, being a self-proclaimed country girl (or 촌년), I was a bit frightened when I saw his tattoos and bald head at first… add his muscular Pit bull to the equation along with his creepy white van with no windows (aka molester van), trust me, it does get kind of scary.0809-2But then again, who am I to judge? I mean, who knows, people might think I’m creepy with my half blond hair and pants that look like they belong in the trash. In fact, a friend’s two year old asked me the other day why my pants were falling apart. The only answer I could give was that it was fashion. hmm..?

Anyways… he was nice. I mean, he was just like everybody else, courteous, didn’t do or say anything strange or inappropriate… he was just like everyone else enjoying a peaceful Saturday afternoon with his favorite dog. 0809-7This short encounter made me think, why are we so quick to build walls around ourselves? Why are we always categorizing people and places, turning normal, friendly people into ones that are bad, sometimes inferior even, without getting to know them?
0809-8The parks that I’m used to are something like this: Central Park in Songdo, Incheon where I live in Korea, or the numerous parks all over Irvine, CA where I used to reside.0809-5Now, these are places that you can go any time of the day and are guaranteed to be clean, peaceful, and all around perfect for unwinding. There are occasional animal encounters that they are rather friendly.0809-9but the first thing I noticed when I arrived at Mac Arthur is the smell…. yeah… the sweet scent of urine. and the bird poop that sort of adds spice to the entire place… and the people, a lot of them… mostly speaking Spanish which I thought was nice (I kind of missed hearing Spanish after being in Korea for a while).

All in all, this was a completely different experience for me especially as someone who’s so used to living in a quiet, picturesque neighborhood where you rarely run into people. I loved seeing the diversity, and how each group or individual seemed to be enjoying their time at the park in their own way not minding what other people think… There were families having a picnic, couples taking a nap on the grass, a guy selling popsicles (Paletas!), geese and ducks having a party (or a poop party, rather), homeless people with their shopping carts organizing their belongings… 0809-10but regardless of their social identity and unlike what others have told us, it turns out they are the same people that we are… they don’t bother you unless you say something that’s disrespectful… unless they are completely drunk out of their minds or high off of whatever they are smoking. 0809-13At the end of the day, I felt at peace and was actually excited that I got to experience MacArthur… because it really isn’t fair to be stuck in my own bubble and never experience what’s out there just because of this “image” that others create for certain places and people… which reminds me of the flat I stayed in while visiting Paris a few years ago which turned out to be located in a slum (I had no idea obviously)… but that’s another story.0809-11I have to mention though… Something’s really wrong with these pants- they are size 24 and about to fall off. I’m all for comfort but this one’s kind of risky.0809-12Almost stepped on a $4,000 equipment (or murdered a really talented photographer) while channeling Godzilla…

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Cropped top and fedora by Forever21, Leopard print kimono (kind of weird how they call it kimono..) by H&M, Distressed Boyfriend Denim by One Tea Spoon, 2.55 Reissue by Chanel, Qlocktwo watch, Miansai bracelet, Chevron rings by Tom Tom Jewelry, Jeffrey Campbell Maris

Photography by Sangtene

 

Take my breath away

karen-4When it comes to versatility, “Nothing beats denim,” some will say, but I must disagree- my years of experience in shopping and dressing tells me that if I had to pick one piece that goes with just about everything, it’s got to be a slip dress that’s dainty, featherweight…  It’s an easy yet versatile base layer piece that can be styled in surprisingly many different ways.karen-8All that skin making you feel uncomfortable? Throw on a plaid shirt for a more casual look.
karen-12 karen-18Feeling glamorous but don’t want to look like you are trying too hard? Pair it with trendy booties.karen-19 karen-23 karen-25On the run?karen-42Tie a colorful shirt around the waist. It comes in handy on those unexpectedly chilly LA evenings.karen-45 karen-48 karen-49Convinced yet? haha… I’d personally choose this dress over any of my skinny jeans any day… Well, unless it’s competing against my favorite boyfriend jeans, that is. karen-55 karen-57 karen-58 karen-64Another way to wear a delicate, silky slip dress is to wear a sweater over it; a personal favorite as you get to rock both femininity and comfort.karen-66Lace Trim Slipdress, Plaid shirt & Sweater by Free People, Cutout booties by Jeffrey Campbell, Chevron Rings by Tom Tom Jewelry

Photography by Sangtene

 

Confessions of a Convoluted Mind

larch1 Do you ever feel like there’s just too much going on in your head that you are unable to choose which to share with the world? That’s me all the time. Life of an INTJ… No wonder I’m always so darn tired.

larch2I was thinking earlier today about the concept of “overthinking.” I mean, people refer to it to describe moments when we tend to think about a certain subject or subjects too much for too long… but how long is too long? If you think about that certain incident for two minutes, are you overthinking? How about five minutes? A day? A week? I’m learning that a lot of these so-called descriptive words don’t really make sense after all. Who sets the standards? Who are we to call someone weird because he/she is known to overthink or stupid because he/she doesn’t speak up?

larch3Only because the person doesn’t talk as much as you do, is it safe to conclude that something is wrong with that person?larch4There’s something we need to understand as active and responsible citizens of a society: living in a world led by those with a loud voice does not automatically grant a right to the people of a similar trait to consider themselves superior to those who aren’t necessarily the type, say the more quiet, reserved thinker types.larch5 I remember back in elementary school, while the kids who weren’t afraid to speak up most certainly succeeded in receiving attention, I found myself often thinking, ‘but that’s not the correct answer…’
larch6The reason why the introverts aren’t as talkative as extroverts isn’t because we lack intelligence. It’s actually because we don’t think you’d understand what’s on our convoluted mind. haha. larch7Well, I hate to admit- I just learned that I lived most of my life thinking that I was the weird one when truth was that I was just different.

I think a lot. In fact, I think so much that I’m unable to speak my mind most of the time as my speed of speech is incompatible with the speed of thought. It’s gotten worse lately so much so that I can’t even fall asleep at night and I get up way too early- all this just so I can start thinking again. I thought something was wrong with me for always worrying in advance, constantly wondering how things came about, how things work, expecting certain things to happen at a certain time, not being able to stop the brain from working (which is why I hate watching movies because that’s when the brain gets to rest) and most important, for generally being so hypersensitive to every.little.thing.

larch8Then a thought crossed my mind which scared me a bit. What if my parents had taken me to a doctor or put me on medication when I was a kid because they felt like I was “different” which could be easily mistaken as a mental disorder of sort when you are young. Just as every person is born with unique physical features, we all have our own distinct personality and temperament which should be celebrated and embraced. (Thank God my parents were rather understanding and put me in art school instead.)

On that note, if you are truly interested in getting to know me, write to me- we can be pen pals or in a more technologically advanced term, chat buddies, because the person you meet in person… most likely isn’t me… (unless we are already really, really close which probably only happened because we spent a lot of time typing to each other instead of talking like them normal folks called extroverts).

larch9Maison Scotch striped tank, Rag & Bone Leather Shorts via Intermix, Illesteva Frieda Sunglasses, Jeffrey Campbell Hough Sandals, Proenza Schouler PS Backpack, Miansai Leather Bracelet, Qlocktwo Watch

Photography by Sangtene

Starting over

kar-24I don’t know which is better (or worse): to do wrong and not get caught yet never even realize that you’ve done wrong, or get caught immediately and receive punishment so that you never do it again.kar-19Just a few minutes prior to arriving at Arts District in Downtown LA for this shoot, for the first time in my life, I received a traffic citation. Now, I’m the type that rarely, if ever, break the law, simply because in my world, it’s just not right to do so. It bothers me to do anything illegal and I would have not done what I had done had I known better.. but then again, I guess that’s what traffic school is for, to educate and punish.. grr.kar-17My excuse was that due to the unforeseen circumstance (i.e. construction in middle of the street with no forewarning which caused cars to just stop moving all together.. and these nice drivers would not help by blocking my way…) I unfortunately decided to make a u-turn when I apparently wasn’t supposed to… but the thing is, I wasn’t the only one doing it. If I had not seen anyone do it, I wouldn’t have done it myself- there is just no way I would’ve done something so crazy (or Korean, haha) if nobody had given me the idea (not that it’s a good excuse). My conclusion is that the female cop that gave me the ticket just didn’t like me in general. You know, that Asian girl with blond hair and red lips driving a Japanese car. She just looks like trouble. kar-20Maybe it was the cat eye sunglasses. Darn it.kar-7Well, everyone makes mistakes, right..? ugh.. not that it makes me feel any better.kar-15What’s certain is that I’m scared to drive in LA again… Any volunteers?kar-11On another note, ever since these jeans arrived at the door, they’ve been my go-to, everyday thing that which I automatically insert my legs in; if there are pieces that you want to live in for the rest of your life, these are it. kar-28and man shoes… oh yes. I’d choose comfort over sexy any day, although both at the same time would be a bit more ideal.kar-2Don’t you sometimes wish you could live without the smartphone? Distraction is only good when you need it, and actively seek it. When it occurs excessively frequently without my consent, it can get overwhelming. Remember when life was simple and pay phone was actually an effective means of communication? kar-25Yeah, too much noise… indeed causes unproductivity (when you are in “work mode” that is)… distraction makes it difficult to focus and get anything done, and this includes multitasking. kar-13There is a limit as to how much information your brain can handle at any given time, just like a computer processor, which is why I like to make a daily to-do list. Without it, I’m all over the place, mindlessly wasting time while barely getting anything done… and especially with the constant notifications I get on the phone, it really does get difficult to give my 100% on anything. kar-16While it’s difficult to completely cut things off, I’ve come to realize that it is important to have self control with just about everything in life but especially with the amount of noise I let into my life. kar-29And that “noise” may be emails, notifications I receive on the phone all day, unnecessary junk I expose myself to on a daily basis such as TV and radio commercials and social media feeds, music that makes me feel dumb just by listening to it, visual garbage, and sometimes even people that make me feel like crap.

kar-31More than enough people have said it: life is short; surround yourself with good things and good people. Words to live by. karH&M tank, Calvin Klein chambray shirt, One Teaspoon “Awesome Baggies” distressed boyfriend jeans, Jeffrey Campbell Rossdale cutout oxfords, Italia Independent sunglasses, Nars lipstick, and Chanel 2.55 Reissue

Photography by Sangtene

Girl in New York

 

ny-bridgeSo I don’t normally enjoy putting my hair up, especially with my forehead looking so naked. ny-ues3but since the photographer insisted, there it was, my poor forehead finally getting some Vitamin D.

ny-finanAfter an overpriced brunch consisting of uncooked eggs and fancy fries in midtown (we paid for the view, not the food… although it did look pretty for the Instagram #foodporn shot. oh, and the free mimosa, which probably wasn’t free after all) we headed downtown, like, all the way where the water is… because… I don’t know, to check out some good looking stockbrokers?

ny-finan3who were nowhere to be found… sadly. How come nobody told us that it was Sunday?

ny-finan5so I got a little irritated…

ny-finan6and disappointed…

ny-ues1so we headed back to midtown to get a mid-day sugar fix.

ny-milkYelp is life.ny-5thMission accomplished. Finally got my hands on them Crack Pie & Cereal Soft Serve, and it only took a few bites to confirm that I, in fact, no longer have a sweet tooth. You know, sometimes it’s more about the experience than the actual thing…

ny-ues2Then the night came… and bar hopping began. What, you are telling me that there’s something more exciting to do at night in NYC??!?

ny9But really, a glass of anything not too nasty is enough to keep me entertained all night. I mean, a few hours until the body can’t handle the abuse.ny8

Photos taken over a span of three days by different people, aka my favorite people of the moment.

Wearing: tanks by J.Crew x Public School, Rag & Bone leather shorts, Lululemon headband, Celine sunglasses, Proenza Schouler backpack, Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, Calvin Klein chambray shirt, Miansai leather bracelet

Be still, my soul.

soho1How much does perfection cost? According to my favorite store, Bergdorf Goodman, $7,000. Mind you, that’s the cost of Celine’s oversized coat in the most beautiful grey ever… and other professional fashion folks from around the globe agree: Celine’s coat is one of the most coveted pieces for fall according to the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar. But then again, who can actually afford a coat that costs as much as a decent used car? Those who seek perfection. Yeah, I get it. Or not.soho7On that note, can we talk about the impossibility of things today? soho10I’ve realized recently the reason why I suffer from a bad case of anxiety from time to time is because I’m subconsciously asking myself to do the impossible, and when it fails to do so, I sort of lose my mind. Although, most of the time, it’s more that I’m afraid it won’t happen because based on personal statistics, it’s very likely it won’t and I’m already freaking out that I won’t be able to achieve what I’m afraid of not achieving. (You can tell that I’m already losing my mind just thinking about this topic.)
soho11Besides perfection, what I’ve discovered to be unachievable is… love.

Yes, love. Oh, the impossibility of it.soho3I’ve actually been having more conversations over this topic lately… because.. it’s just that important.soho8I’m sure it’s already been said many times before: love is elusive. It’s confusing, it’s complicated- but more than that, it’s just impossible, which is what makes it all the more intriguing. soho13You may believe that you are in love… but is it really love, or is it something more human, like, lust, or just a fleeting feeling, an emotion? Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you thought love was something that magically happens one day and lasts forever and ever, check yourself, because remember what I said earlier? The impossibility of it. soho5Call me a pessimist. Call me emo. Call me a cynical romantic.

Love will always remain unattainable for many, as the most challenging endeavor the humankind must continually struggle with, unless it’s the true kind I know of: the selfless, sacrificial type that is unconditional and incessant no matter the circumstance, which is only possible… if you are not human, you know, the saint type. I regret having spent my younger days fantasizing about something that probably doesn’t even exist. How many of us still believe that  it is actually possible to be in love with that certain someone forever and ever just like the way all those pretty princesses in Disney movies trained us to believe? This world makes us think that we are in love without our even having a complete understanding of what it really is. It’s not a feeling. It’s action. It’s commitment. It’s sacrifice. Can you handle the truth?soho4

Rag & Bone leather shorts, Proenza Schouler PS Backpack, Celine sunglasses, Miansai leather bracelet, Qlocktwo watch, TomTom Jewelry Double Chevron rings, Vince sandals

Photography by Cherry J.

 

A Perfect Getaway

ny2As a place that was once called home, New York has a place in my heart like none other- if it needed to be defined, the relationship would be best compared to one I have with this bodycon dress (which, by the way, belonged to someone else prior to this trip)- it’s nice once you put it on, but even the thought of being “in it” is intimidating and even scary at times. I know I’ll have a lot of fun in it, but to get to that point takes time and contemplation, which can sometimes be nerve wracking.ny10So after a spontaneous chat at a local Starbucks on a lazy Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, here we were, at a hotel room in Upper East Side, doing our usual thing, aka photographing each other in a scandalous outfit.ny12I actually weren’t sure if New York was the best choice… until the noise began to cloud my head and really consume me… and… I began to dance to it.ny0While New York is known as a place where all kinds of madness coexist, I’ve learned that sometimes, that’s just what you need to clear your head.
ny14and to learn that it really is okay to let go.
ny13All the commotion the city offers usually bother me to a point where I become hypersensitive to discomforts that come with it (i.e. drunk people that can be found virtually everywhere, invasion of personal space, being hit on by random guys in the street, all the nice things that are oh-so-easily accessible including really, really expensive oversized coats and most impractical tiny little handbags that come with a perfectly matching shiny tassel and a shoulder chain- yes, I’m talking to you, Celine and YSL, and those crazy cab drivers who would do whatever it takes to get you to point B) but this time around, it actually helped me not to place so much focus on the not-so-pleasant things life offers: the uncertainties, issues, problems (you know the things you and I deal with on a daily basis).
ny11Distraction, as it turns out, is a good thing.

I once believed that external factors had little to do with internal affairs, as in emotions and thought processes of sort that go on inside of our heads. Hence, I think even artificial distraction may help us go on with our lives when we’ve lost motivation to do so. ny16On that note, is this dress distracting enough for you? ;) ny6If a brief distraction is what I needed, perhaps an impromptu trip to Central Park was the most brilliant idea after all.ny17As much as you want to be separated from it, reality will always be there.

to be dealt with, to be embraced…

so that you would learn something out of the process in the end.

ny001Because after all, that’s what life is.

ny002It’s a learning process, a journey.ny7

Dress by BCBG Max Azria, White mesh top by Public School x J Crew, Sandals by Vince, & Chanel 2.55 Reissue

Photography by Cherry J. & Sejin Park